Tag Archives: Online Marketing

The Plus Sides to Google +


google pic

When it comes to social media sites Google+ is the newest social networking site creating a buzz in the online marketing world. Launched by the search engine giants’ Google, Google+ or G+, is the latest social media site creating a storm online and has been attracting attention from all over the world with businesses in particular taking a shine to the ‘professional’ and more business orientated which is one of the reasons why it is perfect for growing your business from a marketing point of view. As it is relatively under the radar in terms of social media sites Google+ has, until now, been left alone by businesses looking to expand their online marketing strategy but there are many reasons why you should be signing up to this new social site:

  1. Google is the most recognised brand in the world alongside Cocoa-Cola and Apple, making it very worthwhile to  be a part of
  2. Google is the number one search engine, forcing Bing and Yahoo to fade into the ether of the internet- use this to your advantage in terms of search engine results for your website
  3. G+ is the equivalent to Facebook in social networking sites but has a more professional approach than its competitor, making it ideal for businesses and companies looking to create a professional and social profile.
  4. Content shared and ‘plus oned’ on G+ sends a positive signal to Google that your content is good and worth reading, this helps gain page rank whilst creating a strong site recognised by the search engine.
  5. A recent investment, made by Google themselves, of half a billion dollars into the social media site indicates just how important they envisage G+ being in the future. If its good enough for Google, it must be good enough for your business
  6. G+ allows you to target very specific communities and groups on the social media site, relevant to your business
  7. Make the most of the current low key reputation Google+ has and promote your business in a small community with less competition. The more you build your profile now whilst G+ is relatively unused the less you will need to do when more companies sign up and try to create competition.
  8. Use the fact that it is now the second largest social media site in the world to your business’s advantage! Join the community and benefit from a global audience at your fingertips
  9. Google+ is seen as a ‘pure’ social site as it is free of adverts whereas Facebook generates a large amount of its profits from advertising alone. A ‘cleaner’ user experience will only benefit your followers as well as business connections by using G+, adding to its professional approach to social networking.
  10. Lastly, you should take the massive hint as being suggested by Google themselves and sign up to G+, because Google said so! Use their social media site and reap the benefits of maximised SEO and positive signals- all being read by the search engine themselves.

 

The underground buzz surrounding Google+ is beginning to reach the mainstream in terms of online marketing and social media strategies so why not sign up and make the most if this relatively new site and take the opportunity to build a profile for your business whilst the competition is still ‘liking’ away on Facebook.

Anti-Social Media

 social media pic

When it comes to using social media, from a business perspective, there are several rules of etiquette to stick by to ensure you remain professional and subjective when using such a public and easily accessible platform. There are several very obvious do’s and don’ts when it comes to using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a business, for example not using bad language, interacting positively with customers and being careful when expressing opinions. Having a presence on social media brings great responsibility; if used wisely your social media presence can have such a positive effect on SEO, customer relations and company profile generally. If used badly however, it can cause irreversible damage to your reputation and have a very negative effect on your business.

Corporate companies are always making the global headlines with their use of social media sites, often for all the wrong reasons. With companies such as McDonald’s, Skittles and budget airline RyanAir, demonstrating how not to use social media to boost their business and company profile, it’s easy to see where it can all go so wrong. Offensive campaigns and swear-words published by official accounts as well as controversial opinions being tweeted are just some examples of the anti-social behaviour committed by these companies. Making headlines most recently for her anti-social behaviour on social media site Twitter, the newly-appointed Police Commissioner has come under heavy scrutiny for her misuse of such a public platform. It is very easy to post things online that you may not think twice about but can so quickly be miss-interpreted or taken offensively by followers. Social media when used properly can provide many benefits to businesses, such as improving SEO and generally helping their online marketing all for free, but so often it is the misuse of the social networking sites that makes the headlines. By sticking to a few simple rules as a business user on social media sites, you can really reap the benefits of sites such as Twitter and facebook:

1.Remain polite– Remember your posts will be seen by anyone and everyone with a Twitter and Facebook so remain professional and polite at all times. Even if you are posting something unrelated to your company and business you should remain polite and avoid offensive language.

2.Interact responsibly– Don’t respond and reply to accounts or users that are linked to offensive content or could damage the reputation of your business by being associated with you or your company. The same goes for responding and replying to customers and clients; always remain polite and professional even dealing with complaints or negative comments.

3.Be aware when using contextual content– If your approach is to engage with your followers with current affairs and discussion on contextually-related topics and events, be responsible when discussing. Many large companies and high profile celebrities slip up when discussing news stories and end up offending or commenting at the wrong time for example many MP’s use colloquialisms to appear apart of the community but end up offending members of the public.

 

Learn from the global companies who make these disastrous mistakes on social media and ensure your company remains professional- avoid being anti-social on social media sites.

Bing vs. Google – How these search engine giants can affect your SEO

google vs bing image

Online marketing strategy SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is an increasingly important and popular way to maximise your business presence online and improve your marketing technique so getting it right is within the interest of your entire business. When it comes to choosing which search engine to focus your SEO strategy on there really is only a choice of two main directories; Google and Bing. With Microsoft working hard to improve their search engine Bing and Google constantly updating their powerhouse of a search tool, it can be hard for any business, particularly smaller ones, to know which would be best for their strategy. Online marketing is becoming increasingly important for any business, search engine optimisation being the main focus of their strategy so choosing the right search engine can make all the difference. Google and Bing offer the same principle for all businesses and the right SEO techniques can get your business top ranking on all relevant searches but does it differ per directory? Does the appeal and visual attraction of Bing encourage people to use their search engine over Google’s very basic and easy to use search bar?

The first very important thing to consider is reputation for your business; Google has 80% of the world’s online market place which can make businesses question why they should register on any other directory, but with the vast number of companies and businesses already on Google comes a rather large benefit for their rival Bing. Bing may only have a small share of the marketplace when it comes to directory but for smaller businesses this is ideal. A smaller number of competition ensures higher ranking almost immediately, with very little SEO involved, perfect for smaller businesses starting out. SEO is largely affected by an individual’s presence and use of social media; the higher their activity generally on sites like Twitter and Facebook, the more traffic and interest is generated back to their site. Bing has very strong social integration’s with Facebook and Twitter, featuring links to both major social media sites on their main search engine page. This integrates any social recommendations into its search engine results page (SERPS) less cluttered, whereas Google has actively avoided any sort of relationship with either sites, choosing to have only access to their own lesser-used social networking site Google +. For the world’s largest search engine this may have been a rather risky move as social media is fast becoming one of the most successful forms of SEO.

Search engines are always working on ways to help businesses approach their SEO in a positive or ‘White hat’ way, Google opting to update their SEO strategy every few months, creating more hurdles for companies and filtering through the spam-type SEO moves. Bing however is less hot on the heels of the ‘Black Hat’ SEO approach, causing their searches to be less quality and more spam-type in comparison. The constant updates run by Google cause businesses to stay on top of their online marketing and can create far more work than first considered which is not great for a small company or business. Ultimately search engine preference is down to the individual and their needs for optimising their SEO strategy; Bing is excellent for smaller companies as it has a small audience but Google ranking is often sought after and speeds up the growth and popularity of a site.

3 Ways to Create The Best Content

content

Many websites have gotten in to the habit of regurgitating news stories in an attempt to pass themselves off as an informative website, simply posting a link to Justin Bieber’s latest haircut isn’t exactly helpful to your audience and it’s more than likely it’s gone viral already. What you really need to ask yourself when sharing information is;

What am I offering that no one else can?

We thought we’d give you some simple advice on how to give your audience the right kind of content whether through your website, your blog, or the links you post through social media. You can apply these three simple aspects of content creation to any information you share.

So here’s three aspects of content creation you should be considering.

Know your Audience:

This is a simple concept in principle, it’s knowing who’s visiting your site and what type of person they are. Then consider whether what you’re writing/sharing would appeal to them. This is also something you’ll need to consider if you’re looking to extend your target demographic, ask yourself what can I offer that I’m not offering already? A good tactic is to keep the balance between offering a speciality or expertise in a particular subject and becoming one dimensional. Your website may not be able to cover all the bases, but a subject topic that’s too specific will likely limit how much your traffic will grow.

Intent:

What are your visitors intentions when they visit your site? Are they looking for funny animal pictures or serious journalism? Take this post for instance, I’m aware as I’m writing this, that the type of information I’m sharing may be helpful to a blogger that’s trying to establish his or herself and is looking for a strategy to help create interesting content.

As a business you’ll have to consider whether your audience is one that is likely to skim over your informative pages and blogs or one that’s willing to invest in your product or service.

Presentation:

If you’re attracting attention and traffic to your website you’ll have to consider whether your information is visually stimulating and easy to read. We are by nature more likely to respond to visual imagery than pages upon pages of text. As far as blogging is concerned your audience is much more likely to engage and finish reading content that’s concise which is why posts offering simple tips and “top 10 lists” are popular.

A good tactic is to look at how long visitors stay on your website, as well as each individual page, do your visitors click from link to link or see your homepage and run a mile. It’s possible to use tools such as Google Analytics to measure these factors, like the ‘bounce rate’ for example.

Creating the right type of content, particularly unique content is part of the foundation of Online Marketing and perhaps the main reason SEO exists especially as far as search engines are concerned. So that’s why it’s worth asking these types of rhetorical questions before you start sharing a picture of a cute cat.

cute cat

Your Online Marketing checklist for 2013

Online Marketing

As the new year begins, it’s a good idea to review how your Online Marketing strategy fared in 2012 and what can be improved or implemented in the coming months. With that in mind we’ve picked out a couple of basic fundamentals that your strategy should focus on in the new year.

Social Media has been growing from strength to strength in the last couple of years (with the exception of a couple of setbacks for Facebook). Businesses have quickly realized that this is something that can’t be ignored as having the potential to appeal to an audience of say 900 million people makes for a fantastic online marketing strategy. More recently Twitter has made a huge impact on Social Media too, studies released today claim Twitter would be worth more than 11 billion dollars (nearly 7 billion in British Pound Sterling) if it intends to go public next year.

There is plenty of information in our previous blogs on how to improve or implement your Social Media marketing strategy, take a look at our “Online Marketing, What’s Trending” post for a better look at the statistics.

Mint’s first tip for 2013 is, Don’t neglect Social Media.

As with any aspect of Online Marketing the environment is dynamic and always subject to change, SEO has seen numerous developments over the past couple of years. Google is attempting to shift the focus of its ranking system from traditional internal SEO to a more content based algorithm.

This has already been illustrated by Google Penguin and Panda update in previous years.

Our second tip for 2013 is that as far as SEO and Google is concerned, Content is King.

2012 was an important year as far as technological development is concerned, as you can see in our previous blog post “5 tips to Make Your Page Tablet Friendly” many experts have dubbed 2012 the year of the tablet, with more than 122 million units sold worldwide with 70 million sold in the United States alone. With this development it is suggested that laptop sales will begin to decline this year, studies suggest that only four of the nine major laptop companies will expect to improve on their results this year, that’s Apple, Sony, Asus and Lenovo.

So our third tip for 2013 is to make sure your website is “Tablet Friendly”

Google+ is a developing social networking layer, at the end of last year the site reached more than 400 million members, one of the reasons you should look in to setting up an account is so you can set up Google Author. Google Author is an extremely useful as an SEO tool it’s been suggested that implementing this within blog posts can improve your click through rate by as much as much as 20%. Setting this up is relatively simple all you need is a Google + account, take a look at the “Are you using Google Author” post on our blog for more details on why and how you can implement it and you could attract a lot more traffic to your website.

Our fourth and final tip for 2013 is to implement Google Author.

Online Marketing is always developing but following these guidelines could dramatically improve the amount of traffic and revenue your website generates, make sure 2013 is a successful year for your business!

Are you using Google Author?

Google Author

Google Plus has been steadily growing for the last two years, a social networking site that is owned by Google Inc. The website launched in June 2011. It has a total of 400 million registered users, of whom 100 million are active on a monthly basis.

Google Plus is self-described as a “social layer, consisting of not just a single site but rather an overarching layer which covers many of the online properties.” Google Plus was designed to rival Facebook and it’s monopoly over social networking, the field test Google initially conducted in 2011 was flooded with an “insane demand” of users looking to sign up.

Google Plus is evidently able to capture the attention of internet users based on their brand identity alone, on the day of their mobile app release it became the singular most popular application in the Apple App store. Google Plus does offer some very useful tools, particularly in relation to Online Marketing, Blogging and SEO.

What is Google Author?

Google Author is an extremely useful tool to maximise the visibility and authorship of any online author, it’s also a very effective SEO tool. Through utilising this small addition to your articles, blog or website you can potentially increase your ranking in a Google search as well as increase your appeal with the average internet user.

How Does it Work?

It simply adds a link from the content you write to your Google+ page, however with this link you’ll also be able to display a picture, a tag-line, your location, your job etc. So having a complete and updated profile page is essential, as users looking at your content may browse through to your Google Plus page as well as your website with the click of a button.

 

 

Google Author

 

As you can see, the article that’s been published by Jemma Kiss, is easily visible to the user, coupled with the authority of the Guardian and the 10,000+ Google Plus circles this author is involved with the author has immediately created a solid foundation for herself. It’s safe to say you’re far more likely to click through to a link that is coupled with images and social media information than simply plain text, the benefits of using this tool are plain to see.

Why should I use it?

The idea may sound simple enough, but it can dramatically increase the ranking of your content within Google’s search engine, studies show that having using Google Author can increase your Click Through Rate by around 20%. Evidently utilising this tool can greatly improve your SEO capabilities as well as your online presence in general.
 

Online Marketing, What’s Trending?

Online Marketing, what's trending

What’s trending in the Online Marketing world?

Monitoring the number of searches the following topics have conjured on Google is an accurate way of measuring their relevance and popularity in the world of marketing.

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimisation
  • PPC: Pay Per Click (Advertising)
  • SMM: Social Media Marketing

Using Google Trends it’s possible to measure the interest in these topics over the course of the last six years, it demonstrates how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across the world. It also demonstrates the popularity of the terms by region and country. Evidently Google Trends is an extremely useful marketing tool for monitoring any relevant searchterm.

Online Marketing, what's trending

SEO is Blue, PPC is Red and Social media is Yellow.

 

A clear pattern emerges when analysing the results;

SEO results have been steadily increasing since 2004 and has reached a plateaux in 2010, it remains the most popular search-term of the three. It began with a score of 24, before steadily increasing for several years, as of November 2012 it’s current result is 73.

PPC began as the most popular search-term of the three at 68, it has been gradually decreasing ever since, as of January 2009 it’s search results plummeted from 69 to 14.

SMM As you’d expect social media marketing returned no results until 2007, as the concept of ‘social networking’ was basically non-existent. It’s results have increased and coexisted with the increasing popularity of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking giants. As of November 2012 it holds a rating of 48.

What will happen next?

It is forecast that over the next couple of years the results will continue in very much the same manner, SEO is predicted to maintain it’s high results, PPC is expected to continue to decrease in popularity and SMM is expected to continue to increase until it conjures basically the same level of results as SEO. Of course it’s worth noting that these future results are dependent on the current state of the market and are unable to correlate with unforeseen circumstances.

Where are these results coming from?

What becomes most evident from the regional results is that SEO and PPC return the highest results throughout Asia, for instance Vietnam and Hong Kong have the highest number of results for both of these aspects of online marketing. SMM meanwhile is unique in that it generates high results from a more diverse range of sources, such as the United States, Netherlands, Kenya and other nations throughout southern and central Africa. Clearly, examining the geographical results of these search-terms through Google Trends is an extremely effective way of analysing the online market throughout the world.

Why do these results matter?

These results are an effective method of measuring the popularity of these aspects of marketing, the online marketing environment is dynamic and consistently changing, therefore it’s extremely important to keep up to date on these types of results. Your online marketing strategy should always be relative and reflect the popularity as well as the geographical proximity of these results.

5 things the Auto Industry can teach YOU about Online Marketing

 

Online Marketing

What you can learn about Online Marketing from Car Manufacturers.

The auto industry represents a massive market that invests a huge amount of money in digital marketing campaigns. If you’re looking to gauge the engagement of your business with digital media and online marketing, look no further than the auto industry. An auto manufacturer’s marketing campaign can become a useful source of information and provide valuable tips to benefit your own online marketing strategy.

It’s evident that the industry understands the importance of an effective online marketing campaign and the potential customers it can attract. Here are five essential lessons you can learn, to improve your online marketing strategy.

  1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”:

Car manufacturers select and design their themes and advertisements carefully, when they run a successful campaign, they stick with it. The auto industry spends valuable time and resources tailoring it’s online and television advertisements to suit a specified audience. If a strategy you’ve implemented resonates with your customers, it’s likely the foundation of your plan was solid and appealed to your audience.

  1. Interactive online advertisements add value:

Many car manufacturers strive to implement interactive advertisements on their websites, through this they are able to offer a useful and personal service to their consumers. If you’re scanning the web page of any major car manufacturer you are likely to come across a digital, interactive advertisement. Many car manufacturers configure their websites to allow users to “customise” their vehicle of their choice, for instance offering the customer the option to install GPS or heated seats in their new car. This form of advertisements speaks to consumers, giving them a unique and personal experience, think of it as adding toppings to the pizza of your choice.

  1. The Auto Industry is consistent:

Car manufacturers strive to achieve consistency throughout their marketing campaigns, have you noticed that their television adverts mirror what you see on billboards, in a magazine as well as the design of their website. This consistency is to ensure you’re synonymous with their current marketing campaign as well as with their brand in general.

  1. Online Video Marketing is vital:

Previously the auto industry has dedicated the bulk of its marketing budget to television advertising, now the industry has had to move with the times and concentrate on online video to engage with their customers. Through utilising online video and video hosting websites such as ‘YouTube’ any company can become more engaged and more accessible to it’s customers.

  1. Not every campaign should serve the same purpose:

Advertisements and marketing strategies can serve different purposes, some campaigns will concentrate on brand identity and strive to encourage familiarity between the customer and the identity of the customer. Some strategies will seek to generate revenue and display new products, others will seek to give customers the final ‘push’ in committing to purchase a product. It’s important to understand the numerous roles an advertisement or online marketing strategy can play in creating the best campaign possible.

The auto industry has cracked the code as far as online marketing is concerned, they’ve achieved these results through utilising an effective strategy both on and offline. As a result any business, whether big or small would do well to identify and utilise the strategies employed by the industry.

‘Bigging up’, Link Building and its benefits

Link Building

The benefits of Link Building, and why you should do so.

The process of link-building has been well documented, some of the more obvious tips such as ‘get your video to go viral’ are easier said than done. Similarly, attempting to create quality content is always a good idea, whilst these tips are helpful on a general level it can be difficult to adhere to these guidelines at all times. It’s worth considering that even if you have some of the best content on the web, if it’s not getting the attention it deserves it’s relatively useless as a marketing tool. If you are a small business with very low influence on a global scale it can be difficult to get your unique information to the attention of the mass-market.

With that in mind here are some helpful tips for helping ‘little guys’ big up the ‘big guys’;

Build relationships, not links:

Whilst a re-tweet from a cultural icon on Twitter may get you a thousand followers, it may be a better long term strategy to develop relationships with businesses of a similar stature to yours, creating a relationship that thrives on mutual benefits and the consistent sharing of information.

It’s a good strategy to dedicate time to scan the internet for content from within the search industry, commenting on interesting articles on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +. Following users that share interesting information is a useful self promotion tool. Maintaining an updated RSS feed is also a useful strategy, this is a good way to find articles that may interesting and useful to your business. This will also make sure your social following is receiving current, quality content on a regular basis.

Make the right relationships:

It’s not always easy to instantly become ‘best friends’ with Sky News or a similar company with such a high level of authority. Spending valuable time and resources plaguing this type of source will likely be an unfruitful experience. It’s important to build the right kind of relationships at the opportune time, sometimes a more realistic approach will benefit your campaign in the long run. It’s a much more effective strategy that is mutually beneficial for both parties involved.

Ask yourself… Why would anyone benefit from sharing my work?

An effective way of encouraging others to share your information is by not only promoting the content of others but adding to it in the process. Giving feedback and positive reinforcement about the content of others, take content you found and give them a short review before sharing the information.

It’s a sensible strategy to start off small, look for businesses and websites of a similar stature to yours, building relationships with bloggers who are receiving little or no attention for example and those who would be pleased to receive feedback from other users.

Try to make sure the articles you promote are from plethora of sources and authors, building a wide and diverse network. Contact the author and tell them you’ve shared their content and what aspects you enjoyed, giving them a ‘shout-out’ so to speak, ask them to share the article once more and you’ve successfully self-promoted your own business and created a mutually beneficial arrangement.

  • Hence you’ve added to another users content, this encourages users to contact you in the future as well as to visit your website.

Another effective strategy is to boost the overall authority of your site. Through linking to other material and associating with other users and increase the likelihood they will then share your content to boost the existence of the link.

Persistence is Key.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that this should be a long-term goal, therefore your strategy should reflect this. It can be frustrating as well as disheartening for a small business to be continually shunned by sources with superior presence and authority. Keep in mind that if you continue to plug away your strategy will eventually bring you the results and justify the time and resources you’ve dedicated to the process.

Expert tips for YOUR Twitter Bio

Twitter Bio

Realising the potential of your Twitter Bio.

Many businesses favour quantity over quality with regards to their Twitter followers, it’s thought that the amount of followers you have is directly related to how successful your business has become. This isn’t always the case, after all what use is having 50,000 if only one 100 are relevant and interested in the product or service you offer. Being perceived as a successful business solely based on the amount of Twitter followers is an essentially flawed system, many businesses find this so important that they ‘buy’ followers in an attempt to create the illusion of popularity.

This guide will explain the significance of your bio and the role it has to play in gaining a group of relevant followers who are interested in the information and service you can provide.

Those measly 160 characters may seem insignificant but they can be crucial in defining the purpose and set up of your business, your Bio may be the difference in the followers who ignore you and those who will click every link you post.

It’s important to understand the reasons why people chose to follow one another whether it’s to learn something, discuss interests or be entertained by the information you provide. Targeting a specific group of followers may be more beneficial than the entire mass-market, these are your ‘fan-base’ so to speak, these are the users who will ReTweet your information and possibly invest in your product or service.

Here are three tips you can use to revamp your Twitter Bio.

Write about your interests:

This is particularly important, Why are you using Twitter? What do you do? Etc.. If you list yourself as a social media expert for example, you will be expected to act accordingly and offer that service to your users.

Get your priorities straight:

It’s vital to prioritise just what it is you’re attempting to get across to your followers, what defines your business? Individual personal information such as your hobbies in your free time are likely to be irrelevant.

Keywords are Vital:

Twitter functions as a search tool, so it’s a good idea to understand this in your Bio. Using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in your profile is an effective way of garnering attention and interest in your Twitter account as well as your business in general.

Twitter Bio ‘Don’ts’- Common Pitfalls:

Wasting your limited space on a quote or something that is irrelevant to your business. Quoting a cultural icon may be motivational to you, but your Twitter followers want to know about you and your business not the people you admire.

Don’t use a Bio you’ve used elsewhere on another site, it’s important to ensure your content is unique rather than copying and pasting from other sources.

Make sure you utilise the 160 characters, this is only a snippet of information so displaying the right information and maximising the space is a good idea. It’s also important that you stick within the restrictions, having information cut off looks unprofessional and gives a bad impression of your business.

There are some of our ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ with regards to your profile, hopefully you understand the significance of your Bio and the role it has to play in getting the right kind of attention for your business.